Travel Director’s Three Paris Must Sees

Travel Director’s Three Paris Must Sees

Ian McKinven, a Travel Director for over 18 years, shares his top three things to see in Paris.

A Rainbow of Macaroons

Laduree is a French family business that has specialized in the making of luxury cakes and pastries since 1862. They are undoubtedly the best known makers of macaroons in the world and with good reason. When one thinks of macaroons one thinks of coconut. Not so with these delicious bite-size cakes that are crisp on the outside and soft, smooth and creamy in the center. The range of flavors ensures that there is always something for le ‘plaisir du palais’ — literally the pleasure of the palate. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, strawberry, lemon, pistachio. I could go on! The selection is great and all are super delicious. There are several Laduree shops in Paris, the most recent having been opened in the shopping mall at the world famous Louvre museum.

Fine Perfume Beneath a Stunning Glass Dome

This is a freebie, but in my opinion one of the grandest sites in “The City of Light.” The Paris flagship of Galeries Lafayette started life as a simple haberdashery at the end of the 19th century. I strongly recommend that you to enter the perfumery department on the ground floor and simply lift your eyes to the heavens. This beautiful 10-story building is gloriously crowned by a magnificent dome of colored glass and wrought iron right out of the Bel Epoch. Simply spectacular!

Browsing For Books Along The Seine

Les Bouquinistes draws its name from the word “bouquin,” which means book and generally a second-hand book. Here alongside the banks of the River Seine we find these booksellers of used and antiquarian books. The Seine is thus described as the only river in the world that flows between two bookshelves. The green shuttered stalls are opened daily and offer not only books but post cards, prints and posters.

What are  your “Must-See” sights in Paris? Let us know in the comments.

26 thoughts on “Travel Director’s Three Paris Must Sees

  • July 16, 2013 at 5:26 am
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    Monet’s garden at Giverny is a must-see.

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    • July 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm
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      I totally agree!!!

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      • July 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm
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        Montmarte was wonderful. Loved it. Sitting at an outside cafe people watching, and eating any pastry we want. We never do that at home. We went on the la Tour de France in May, it was wonderful. I didn’t think the Eiffel Tower would thrill me like it did. But, it did.

        Also, the Moulin Rouge night was great. We loved it and had a wonderful dinner.

        The architecture of Paris is beautiful. We love that. Riding around seeing everything is so relaxing, those big windows on the comfy bus are amazing. Loved the bridges, the Statue of Liberty we gave them, perfect.

        Seeing the famous paintings and statues that I’ve known about my who life, and all the information that we came home with was priceless.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 6:31 am
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    Food? Odors? Books?
    Add weight, Die from a block nasal passages, buy a book to read as you go under, NOT a VERY SMART group list. return!!!!

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    • July 16, 2013 at 10:15 am
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      It was a suggestion. Be nice or be quiet.

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    • July 16, 2013 at 11:06 am
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      Hi Hank, I feel your pain I also have sinus problems of which has been of great concern for me regarding the trip. Needles to say, how were things, were their any locations that made you so uncomfortable you could not enjoy the trip? Was it realistic, did you really have leasure time in each location or was it a quick run through. I would like tol plan the 16 day tour if possible. Please advise if you would, I would like to know the real story behind the fanfare. My soul considering booking the trip is to spend as much time as possible in PARIS. Thanks.

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      • July 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm
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        Alexia, Feel free to contact me with any questions on Paris or etc. I will taking the 19 day-Classical Europe Tour ;
        Aug. 1st -19th. Then I will spend a week in Norway.
        This is my 1st trip to Europe & I get migraines. I too have so many questions.
        If you email me privately; I will answer what I can now about travel packing &
        what my friend has found works for her. She has been all over the world.
        I’ve dreamed of this trip for over 20yrs. I want to be prepared.
        I’ll be more than willing to answer any questions I can, before or when I return to the USA.
        I shall return Aug 26th.

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    • July 16, 2013 at 11:12 am
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      The thing about traveling is that everyone is different. People have different take-aways from trips – the best and the worst things they experience in each place. Everyone has different opinions, likes, etc, and that is what makes this world unique and one of the many reasons we love to travel and experience the things around us. These three things in the post were Ian’s favorites – that doesn’t mean they are everyone’s favorite, and that’s ok. Share yours – you may inspire someone else to travel to Paris and experience it too.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 7:16 am
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    Hey Ian:: this is the “House – tons” who traveled with you in 2007 to Ireland and Scotland. We are still talking about that trip. We went with Frank on the Classical European this year. It was equally as good. Thanks again for all you did for us!

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  • July 16, 2013 at 7:35 am
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    How young are kids allowed to enjoy this trips? I have a 7 year old grand son, can he join us and what is the discount on his trip with his parents?

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    • July 16, 2013 at 8:49 am
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      Hi Rosita- thanks for your interest. Children aged between 8-16 can travel on the tours. If you travel during January, February, March, July or August children can qualify for a 10% discount. If you have more questions call us at 1-800-552-5545 and our Travel Specialists can answer any questions you may have.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 7:52 am
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    Two must sees are the Musee Rodin and the view from the Tour de Montparnasse.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 8:09 am
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    One of my cherished memories of Paris is standing high on an outside deck of the Eiffel Tower at dusk with the wind whipping my hair, my husband’s arms tight around me and the lights starting to twinkle all over the city far, far below….

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  • July 16, 2013 at 9:56 am
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    It is fun to sit with a glass of wine at an outside table of a brasserie on the traffic circle at Trocadero and watch the tourists getting off of the tour buses to see the Eiffel Tower. Picture taking, “oohing and ahhing”, souvenir hunting is quite a spectacle in itself.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm
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    In re macarons: La Duree was my favorite for macarons since … 1958. As a regular visitor, once or twice year for many years, there are a few more. A notable one is Pierre Herme, considered one of the great chocolatiers francais. The Parisian kings of chocolate are great, but much depends on your taste, or as we say in French, “chacun a son gout.” However, I have found Pierre Herme to have perhaps the best (hate to say, ever, “best” in any genre) macarons. In springtime, he makes a citron macaron that may be the finest, most sensitive, patisserie/biscuit ever encountered.

    As to another part of Ian ???’s bit, yes, Galeries Lafayette is to be seen and experienced, whether or not you’re a shopper.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm
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    Very close to the Louvre visit L’Orangerie Musem to see Monet’s Room sized painting of the “Water Lilies”. These are the most overwhelming paintings I have ever seen. After viewming them take a short ride (under 1 hour) and visit Giverny where you can see his home as well as the subjects of these incredible works of art.

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  • July 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm
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    I just finished the tour this summer with Ian as our guide. He was a great guide and his suggestions are just that…his favorites. There are so many great things to see and do that a return trip is always a dream. Laduree was great, in Paris, at Versailles and in the Louvre. Eat all you can when you are there! You can diet when you come home!

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  • July 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm
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    One evening Ian took our group up to Montmarte for dinner. Really cool. Except for all the usual tourist spots (Notre Dame, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, boat ride on the Seine etc.,) I’d say this was one of our favorite places in Paris. Actually our whole European trip was outstanding. Thanks Ian.

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    • June 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm
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      What is the name of the restaurant Ian took you to? Do you have any other restaurant recommendations there?

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  • July 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm
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    what about the bridge with all the locks by the lovers…I hear that is a romantic must see and do.

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  • July 17, 2013 at 10:22 am
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    St Chappelle, amazing stained glass windows!

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  • July 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm
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    Holocaust Museum, Louvre, the Seine

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  • April 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm
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    A minor point in re: macaroons. The French call them MACARONS; these are different from what we know as macaroons!

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